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Allentown man among those charged in E-ZPass scheme

An Allentown man is one of two charged in a scheme to set up fake identities to avoid paying $1 million in turnpike tolls.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced Duvany Zambrano, 43, of Hamilton, N.J. and Sergio Jara, 37, of Allentown, were indicted Jan. 4 by a federal grand jury for defrauding the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission.

According to U.S. Attorney Gerard M. Karam, the indictment alleges that beginning in 2018, Zambrano, Jara and others began acquiring thousands of E-ZPass transponders from retailers in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. They then registered the transponders using false personal information and false credit card information.

They sold the transponders to truckers in the New Jersey area who traveled on the Pennsylvania Turnpike hauling materials. In doing so, the indictment alleges that Zambrano, Jara, and others avoided paying approximately $1,000,000 in tolls.

The indictment was unsealed following Zambrano and Jara’s initial appearances.

Defendants are scheduled for trial March 4 before U.S. District Court Judge Christopher C. Conner.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael A. Consiglio is prosecuting the case.

The maximum penalty under federal law for this offense is 20 years of imprisonment, a term of supervised release following imprisonment and a fine.